TV Club: Arrow closes out the year by dropping the damn hammer

Damien Darhk is pretty much the perfect Arrow villain. A lot of that is down to how brilliant Neal McDonough is in the role. There’s an art to having such palpable fun in a role without turning in a performance that veers into caricature, and McDonough manages this because he makes it clear how much Darhk himself relishes the theatricality of his villainy. The obvious fun Darhk has only adds to his aura of invincibility, and McDonough is careful to modulate his performance on the rare occasion that Darhk actually faces a threat worth facing. Darhk is a callous bastard—he doesn’t pretend to pay anything more than the barest lip service to caring when he sends that H.I.V.E. member to the gas chamber—yet he’s not necessarily evil incarnate. And that’s not to say he might not be completely, irredeemably evil, as …

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